The Asahi Prize

The Asahi Prize was established in 1929 to honor individuals and groups that have made outstanding accomplishments in the fields of academics and arts, and have greatly contributed to the development and progress of Japanese culture and society at large.

The Asahi Shimbun Company is pleased to annouce the recipients of the Asahi Prize for fiscal 2013 as listed below.

The Prize is regarded as one of the most prestigious prizes awarded by a nongovernmental entity. Many recipients of the Asahi Prize have later been honored with a Nobel Prize or the Order of Culture decoration. A total of 450 individuals and 27 groups have received the Prize since its inception (as of fiscal 2013).



Asahi Prize recipients

[ Fiscal 2013 ]

Takarazuka Revue Company
For Takarazuka Revue's 100-year-long contribution to Japan's performing arts

Tatsuya Nakadai, actor
For long years of activities as an actor and contribution to the theater and movie worlds through nurturing of junior fellows

Kenji Kosaka, director, Medical Care Court Clinic
For discovering dementia with Lewy bodies

Kazutoshi Mori, professor, Kyoto University
For the elucidation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2012 ]

Juro Kara, playwright
For creating illusionary dramas and producing unique stage performances in outdoor tents

Hiroyuki Matsunami, professor emeritus, Kyoto University
For conducting pioneering studies on silicon carbide used in power semiconductors

Nobuo Kamiya, professor, Osaka City University
Kenjin Shin, professor, Okayama University

For clarifying the molecular structure of oxygen-evolving center of Photosystem II

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2011 ]

Tadanori Yokoo, artist
For creating innovative graphic designs and paintings that constantly resonate with the current times

Isao Tomita, composer
For worldwide activities as music composer and sound creator

Chizuko Ueno, sociologist
For research and practice in women’s studies, feminism and care issues

Hidetoshi Katori, professor, The University of Tokyo
For research on the optical lattice clock

Shimon Sakaguchi, professor, Osaka University
For explaining the mechanism of immunological tolerance through the discovery of regulatory T cells

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2010 ]

Natsuki Ikezawa, writer
For his distinguished work as a writer and critic, and compiling a literary collection from a global standpoint

Masazumi Harada, medical doctor
For proposing and developing an interdisciplinary "Minamata Study" through his medical research on the Minamata disease

Spacecraft "Hayabusa" Project Team - Hayabusa Project Manager: Junichiro Kawaguchi, professor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); Representative of industrial community: Shinji Hagino, Senior Manager, Space & Satellite Systems Department Space Systems Division NEC Corporation; Representative of academia: Kazuo Tsuchiya, professor emeritus, Kyoto University
For the world's first successful asteroid probe to travel through space and return from its mission, made possible through the collaboration of industry, government and academia

Hideo Hosono, professor, Frontier Research Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology
For discovery and development of brand new transparent oxide semiconductors and metals

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2009 ]

Toyo Ito, architect
For his distinguished work in modern architecture that expanded the possibilities of notions of space

Hideki Noda, playwright, theater director, actor
For breaking new ground in modern theater, and promoting international exchange through theater arts

Kenji Fukaya, professor, Kyoto University Graduate School of Science
For his research in symplectic geometry

Chikashi Toyoshima, professor, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo
For clarifying the mechanical operation of the calcium pump

Gen Suwa, professor, University Museum, University of Tokyo
For his research related to the earliest stages of human evolution, including the Ardipithecus ramidus

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2008 ]

Shigeru Mizuki
For his contribution to the manga comic culture through his wide range of original works featuring specters and portrayals of the horrors of war

Hisae Sawachi
For her distinguished works of nonfiction that pursued the truth behind major incidents during the Showa Era leading up to World War II

Minoru Betsuyaku
For his brilliant, longstanding work as a playwright, who laid the foundation for establishing the “theater of the absurd” in Japan

Yoshinori Osumi
For clarifying the molecular dissection of the autophagy, intracellular degradation system

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2007 ]

Momoko Ishii
For her continued dedication to children’s literature, including her translation of “Winnie-the-Pooh”

Sumitayu Takemoto
For his significant contribution and services to Bunraku puppetry and for establishing his artistic style as the most accomplished Tayu (narrator) in the current Bunraku theater

Terunobu Miyazaki and Shinji Yuasa
For their research on the development and application of Tunnel Magnetoresistance (TMR)

Yukio Fukuyama, Tatsushi Toda and Tamao Endo
For their discovery and findings on Fukuyama Type Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and the elucidation of related diseases

Shinya Yamanaka
For development and verification of a new method to generate pluripotent stem cells

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2006 ]

Seiko Tanabe
For her outstanding literary work culminating in the completion of “Tanabe Seiko Zenshu” (The Complete Works of Seiko Tanabe, 24 volumes and one supplementary volume)

Haruki Murakami
For his literary works that have been translated into numerous languages across the world, drawing wide support from the younger generation

Mansaku Nomura
For his contribution to a wide range of theatrical arts as well his outstanding performances in the Japanese classical Kyogen theater

Mitsuo Kawato
For his presentation of the cerebellum internal model theory and its verification; and clarifying brain functions by using a humanoid robot

Takao Kondo
For research on the molecular mechanism of the biological clock

Osamu Shimomura
For the discovery of green fluorescent protein and his contributions to the field of life science

[For more details, click here. (Japanese language only)]

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[ Fiscal 2005 ]

Kyoko Hayashi
For her outstanding literary works which culminated in the “Hayashi Kyoko Zenshu”(The Complete Works of Kyoko Hayashi, 8 volumes)

Hiroyuki Iwaki
For introducing a wide-range of contemporary Japanese music to a world-wide audience through his energetic work as a conductor

Shoichi Ozawa
For his outstanding work as an actor as well as his dedication to recording and reappraising the art of Japanese traditional street performers

Yoshiki Kuramoto
For his pioneering research on the nonlinear model of the synchronization phenomenon

Shizuo Akira
For his research on the mechanism of pathogen recognition in natural immunity

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[ Fiscal 2004 ]

Minoru Nakamura
For his distinguished work as a poet and his services for the literary museum, culminating in the book “Watashino Showa-shi" (My personal history of the Showa period)

Toshiko Akiyoshi
For her contribution to developing and spreading jazz music as a pianist and big band leader based in the United States

Fumitada Itakura
For developing the sound compression technology which serves as the basis of cell phones

Keiji Tanaka
For defining the structure and mechanism of proteasome in relation to protein degradation

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[ Fiscal 2003 ]

Ikuo Hirayama
For his outstanding work as an artist during his distinguished career, and his international dedication to the preservation of cultural heritages

Saiichi Maruya
For his distinguished literary works over many years, and his latest book titled “Kagayaku Hinomiya” (The Shining Prince)

Hideki Kanbara
For developing a high-throughput DNA-sequencing device

Yasushi Miyashita
For clarifying the memory mechanism of the cerebrum

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[ Fiscal 2002 ]

Rei Kawakubo
For her distinguished work that breaks boundaries of creativity and makes her one of the world's fashion leaders

Saburo Shiroyama
For his outstanding literary work and creating a new genre of “business fiction” spotlighting the relationship between individuals and organizations

Kazuya Kato
For his research on the number theory

Kohei Tamao
For groundbreaking research and development on organo-metallic chemical reactions

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[ Fiscal 2001 ]

Michiko Ishimure
For her creative work that points to the crisis our ecosystem faces due to environmental destruction

Hayao Miyazaki
For the production of outstanding animation movies

Takayasu Higuchi
For his pioneering archeological studies and shedding new light on cultural exchanges between the East and the West

Jun Akimitsu
For the discovery of a new high temperature-metal superconductor

Yoshinori Tokura
For research work on strongly correlated electronic matter

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[ Fiscal 2000 ]

Hisashi Inoue
For his creative work that integrates elements of the intellectual and the average people into contemporary history

Yayoi Kusama
For her avant-garde artistic activities that greatly affected post-war art around the world

Sensaku Shigeyama
For his contribution to the promotion of Kyogen as an art form for the general public through his brilliant spontaneous stage performances

Isamu Akasaki and Shuji Nakamura
For their research and development of a blue light emitting device

Mitsuhiro Yanagida
For his research on the mechanism of chromosome transmission to the next generation

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[ Fiscal 1999]

  • Tsurumi Kazuko
  • Tetsuji Miwa / Michio Jinbo
  • Akiko Baba
  • Yukio NInagawa
  • Tatsuo Suda
  • Seiji Ogawa

[ Fiscal 1998]

  • Michio Mado
  • Yuzo Yamane
  • Osamu Suzuki
  • The Super-Kamiokande Observatory group ( Representative: Yoji Totsuka)
  • Toshio Yanagida

[ Fiscal 1997]

  • Donald Keene
  • Hayao Kawai
  • Ikkou Tanaka
  • Tamao Yoshida
  • Kenichi Iga
  • Shigekazu Nagata

[ Fiscal 1996]

  • Makoto Ooka
  • Mitsuko Uchida
  • Yoji Yamada
  • Shizuka Shirakawa
  • Sumio Iijima
  • Fujihiro Araki

[ Fiscal 1995]

  • Shuntaro Tanikawa
  • The late Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki
  • Beicho Katsura
  • Taryo Obayashi
  • Shukuro Manabe
  • Nobutaka Hirokawa

[ Fiscal 1994]

  • Yoshie Hotta
  • Kenzaburo Oe
  • Tadao Ando
  • Shunsuke Tsurumi
  • Makoto Kobayashi/ Toshihide Masukawa
  • Kosaku Maruyama

[ Fiscal 1993]

  • Shuichi Kato
  • Tatsuo Nishida
  • Shuhei Fujisawa
  • Isuzu Yamada
  • Hiroo Kanamori
  • Masatoshi Takeichi

[ Fiscal 1992]

  • Toshiaki Okubo
  • Fumihiko Maki
  • Hiroshi Wakasugi
  • Shunshin Chin
  • Shoichi Sakagami
  • Ryoji Noyori

[ Fiscal 1991]

  • Issei Miyake
  • Shotaro Yasuoka
  • Shuson Kato
  • Kiyotari Tsuboi
  • Goro Shimura
  • Tomoo Masaki

[ Fiscal 1990]

  • Hidekazu Yoshida
  • Shujiro Shimada
  • Senichiro Hakomori
  • Akira Miyawaki
  • Masato Sagawa

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[ Fiscal 1989]

  • Setsuko Migishi
  • Seicho Matsumoto
  • Yoko Morishita
  • Tatsusaburo Hayashiya
  • Masaji Kiyokawa
  • Kumao Toyoshima/ Tadashi Yamamoto
  • Tomisaku Kawasaki

[ Fiscal 1988]

  • Setsu Asakura
  • Churyo Sato
  • Hiroshi Noma
  • Nagaharu Yodogawa
  • Seishi Yamaguchi
  • Hirotsugu Akaike
  • Tadamitsu Kishimoto
  • Tadatsugu Taniguchi

[ Fiscal 1987]

  • Arata Isozaki
  • Osamu Tezuka
  • Hanae Mori
  • Tadao Umesao
  • Masaki Kashiwara/ Takahiro Kawai
  • The Kamioka Observatory group (Representative: Masatoshi Koshiba)
  • Hisayuki Matsuo

[ Fiscal 1986]

  • Kashiko Kawakita
  • Yukihiko Nakamura
  • Motoo Kimura
  • Akira Tonomura
  • Kiyoshi Takatsuki/ Isao Miyoshi/ Yorio Hinuma/ Mitsuaki Yoshida
  • Junichi Tomizawa

[ Fiscal 1985]

  • Masao Maruyama
  • Junji Kinoshita
  • Seiji Ozawa
  • Kazuo Miyagawa
  • Izuo Hayashi
  • Yasutomi Nishizuka

[ Fiscal 1984]

  • Yasushi Inoue
  • Toru Takemitsu
  • Yoshishige Saito
  • The production team of the documentary program, "The Silk Road", Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)
  • Junichi Nishizawa
  • Michiaki Takahashi

[ Fiscal 1983]

  • Ineko Sata
  • Yusaku Kamekura
  • Toyomune Minamoto
  • Masaki Watanabe
  • Shiro Kakiuchi
  • Hidesaburo Hanabusa

[ Fiscal 1982]

  • Yoshio Nakano
  • Toshihiko Izutsu
  • Ryotaro Shiba
  • Kenichi Honda/ Akira Fujishima
  • Shosaku Numa/ Shigetada Nakanishi

[ Fiscal 1981]

  • Gaishi Takeuchi
  • Morio Kasai
  • Susumu Tonegawa
  • Tasuku Honjo
  • Jun Ishikawa
  • Tomio Tada

[ Fiscal 1980]

  • Yaeko Nogami
  • The observation team of the X-ray astronomy satellite Hakucho (Representative: Minoru Oda)
  • Isao Arita
  • Ohara Museum of Art

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[ Fiscal 1979]

  • Shigemi Komatsu
  • Jun Kondo
  • Type B hepatitis research group (Representative: Toshitsugu Oda)
  • Yasumasa Miki
  • Masaji Tabata

[ Fiscal 1978]

  • Takeo Kanaseki
  • Takashi Asahina
  • Ken Domon
  • Setsuya Fujita

[ Fiscal 1977]

  • Shigeharu Nakano
  • Koreya Senda
  • The researchers who developed the stationery satellite [ Representative: Akiyoshi Matsuura, president, National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)]
  • Masami Monji/ Toshiro Saeki
  • Kiyoshi Ito

[ Fiscal 1976]

  • Yoshihiko Saito
  • Kiyoshi Kanai
  • Reiji Natori
  • Shinsuke Hattori

[ Fiscal 1975]

  • Shohei Ooka
  • Kaneto Shindo
  • Yusuke Hagihara
  • Yoshimitsu Kikuchi/ Toshio Wagai
  • The research group at the Oarai Branch, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University (Representative: Seishi Yajima)

[ Fiscal 1974]

  • Kanson Arahata
  • Yasue Yamamoto
  • Takeo Kuwabara
  • Tamio Yamakawa
  • Fumio Osawa

[ Fiscal 1973]

  • Joji Tsubota
  • Takeshiro Kuraishi
  • Masao Suenaga
  • Kimishige Ishizaka/ Teruko Ishizaka
  • Sachio Hayakawa

[ Fiscal 1972]

  • Tatsuo Hayashi
  • Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association (Representative: Kenzo Nakajima)
  • Yaeko Mizutani
  • Fusae Ichikawa
  • Sho Asakura/ Tetsuo Iino
  • Hideo Hayashi

[ Fiscal 1971]

  • Kazuo Watanabe
  • Toshio Fukuyama
  • Jisaburo Oi
  • Yoshio Okada

[ Fiscal 1970]

  • Hisao Otsuka
  • Kojiro Yoshikawa
  • Saburo Nagakura
  • Reiji Okazaki

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[ Fiscal 1969]

  • Kiyoshi Yabuuchi
  • Mikio Sato/ Hikosaburo Komatsu
  • Hikoo Shirakabe/ Heizaburo Ichikawa/ Kenji Kumakura

[ Fiscal 1968]

  • Seiichi Iwao
  • Haruko Sugimura
  • Setsuro Ebashi
  • The primate research group led by Denzaburo Miyaji and Imanishi Kinji

[ Fiscal 1967]

  • Masao Fukushima and the“family system”research group
  • Osamu Takata
  • Tsunematsu Takemoto/ Koji Nakanishi
  • Heisuke Hironaka

[ Fiscal 1966]

  • Hisataka Omodaka
  • Takeshi Hayashi
  • Osamu Takizawa
  • Kyusaku Ogino
  • Fujio Egami
  • The Minamata disease study group at the School of Medicine of Kumamoto University (Representative: Masachika Kutsuna)

[ Fiscal 1965]

  • Noboru Niida
  • Takao Tsuchiya
  • Yukio Yashiro
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Chushiro Hayashi
  • Yoshio Nakazawa/ Tatsuo Saeki

[ Fiscal 1964]

  • Mosaku Ishida
  • Kansuke Naka
  • Jiro Osaragi
  • Shiko Munakata
  • Kenzo Tange
  • Tokyo Cinema Co. (Representative: Sozo Okada)
  • The engineering group at the then-state-run Japanese National Railways, that developed the "Shinkansen" ( bullet train ) - Representative: Hideo Shima
  • Osamu Hayaishi
  • Kyosuke Tsuda, Yoshimasa Hirata, Isamu Nitta/ Akira Yokoo
  • Tsunesaburo Fujino, Iwao Takikawa, Hideo Fukumi, Riichi Sakazaki

[ Fiscal 1963]

  • The editing group for the compilation of "Kokushi Taikei" ( the earliest historical writings of Japan ) - Representative: Jiro Maruyama
  • Yagoro Zenchiku
  • Masuichi Midoro
  • Kisaku Ito
  • The late Masatsugu Kusumoto
  • Yoshihide Kozai
  • Yoshiro Ono
  • Seiji Kimoto
  • Shigeru Sakakibara
  • Gito Teruoka

[ Fiscal 1962]

  • Sueji Umehara
  • Hanjiro Sakamoto
  • Keizo Shibusawa
  • Shotaro Hanayagi
  • Yozo Matsushima
  • Shuji Fukui, Shigenori Miyamoto
  • The construction office, at the Kurobe River No.4 Power Plant (Representative: Masanori Nose)
  • Heita Okabe

[ Fiscal 1961]

  • Shin Hasegawa
  • Kunio Maekawa
  • Rentaro Kota
  • Juro Tabuchi
  • Yasuji Katsuki
  • Osaka University, magnetic theory research group (Representative: Takeo Nagamiya)
  • Shigeo Takahara

[ Fiscal 1960]

  • Sokichi Tsuda
  • Sadatoshi Yasugi
  • Gakuryo Nakamura
  • Maki Yamashita
  • Tatsuro Matsumoto
  • Toshio Kato
  • Kazuo Okunuki

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[ Fiscal 1959]

  • Muneyoshi Yanagi
  • Kabuki actor Jukai Ichikawa (Real name: Shozo Ota)
  • Hidetoshi Takahashi, Eiichi Goto
  • Reona Esaki
  • Kenkichi Iwasaki
  • Yuichi Yamamura

[ Fiscal 1958]

  • Research group of the history of agricultural development (Representative: Seiichi Tohata)
  • Takeo Matsumura
  • Hamao Umezawa
  • Keizo Yasumatsu
  • Tadayori Tobita

[ Fiscal 1957]

  • Rizo Takeuchi
  • Hiroshi Toda
  • Shizo Kanaguri

[ Fiscal 1956]

  • Ryuzaburo Umehara
  • The late Kikan Ikeda
  • Toranosuke Nishioka
  • Toshio Sudo
  • Takusaburo Kihara

[ Fiscal 1955]

  • Eiji Yoshikawa
  • Ken Yanagisawa/ Toshiaki Ebina/ Yoji Obayashi/ Tadao Toda/ Yuzo Kawamori
  • Shizuo Miyake/ Ryoji Ueda

[ Fiscal 1954]

  • Daisetsu Suzuki
  • Mashiho Chiri
  • Harumichi Oka/ Hideo Kumabe
  • Chuji Tsuboi

[ Fiscal 1953]

  • Zennosuke Tsuji
  • Jitsuzo Tamura/ Yukio Kobayashi
  • Kiyoshi Oka
  • Koichi Motokawa

[ Fiscal 1952]

  • The research committee on Chinese agricultural practices (Representative: Noboru Niida)
  • Ken Iwasaki
  • Toshiyuki Kurotsu

[ Fiscal 1951]

  • Japan Symphony Orchestra (The current NHK Symphony Orchestra)
  • Tetsuo Nozoe
  • Tomizo Yoshida

[ Fiscal 1950]

  • Yukichi Habara
  • Seiichi Mizuno/ Toshio Nagahiro
  • Isao Imai
  • Shigeru Miki

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[ Fiscal 1949]

  • Keiichi Harada
  • Kenzo Hayashi
  • Masashi Miyaji

[ Fiscal 1948]

  • Junichiro Tanizaki
  • The educational movie department of Nihon Eiga Sha
  • Shoichi Sakata

[ Fiscal 1947]

  • Shigeki Kaizuka
  • Zenshinza
  • Motosaburo Masuyama

[ Fiscal 1946]

  • Shinichiro Tomonaga
  • Waro Nakahara

[ Fiscal 1945]

  • Prize award discontinued

[ Fiscal 1944]

  • Yoshio Nishina
  • Teishin Seo
  • Toa Koko Gakkai(Toa archeological society)(Representative: Kozaburo Shimamura)
  • Mazaburo Umewaka
  • Hisao Omata/ Hisayoshi Tanaka/ Kiyoshi Shimazaki/ Sadaji Sakamoto/ Hideo Morimatsu/ Ishio Hahiro

[ Fiscal 1943]

  • Aikitsu Tanakadate
  • Satoyasu Iimori
  • Masao Naruse
  • Jun Kawada
  • Tetsuji Morohashi
  • Saburo Miyamoto

[ Fiscal 1942]

  • Tsuguharu Fujita
  • Kenichi Nakamura
  • Kiyoshi Nobutoki
  • Toyoo Iwata
  • Nihon Eiga Sha
  • Eiza Yoshida/ Bungoro Yoshida
  • Tamotsu Nishina
  • Shuji Hasegawa
  • Yoshio Sakai/ Kenji Hishinuma/ Toku Yo

[ Fiscal 1941]

  • Iwao Kugimiya/ Hiroshi Arima/ Kenji Kano
  • Yutaka Kubota/ Tokihiko Sato/ Shoji Tamaki
  • Matsukichi Miyoshi/ Kenichiro Kazaoka
  • Yukihiko Yasuda

[ Fiscal 1940]

  • Shinobu Ishihara
  • Gyokudo Kawai
  • Seizo Sato
  • Seichi Taki
  • Kunio Yanagida
  • Kosaku Yamada

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[ Fiscal 1939]

  • Kansetsu Hashimoto
  • Ryohei Koiso
  • Ashihei Hino
  • Makoto Kawase/ Toru Ogawa/ Toshio Yokota
  • Tatsuzo Miyama/ Ryonosuke Abe
  • Koki Kudo
  • Taro Tsukada
  • Sumitoshi Nakao/ Shigeo Yoshida/ Hajime Shimokawa/ Hiroshi Saeki/ Nobusada Sato/ Chosaku Yaokawa

[ Fiscal 1938]

  • Seigo Hosoya
  • Yuzo Fujita/ Fukujiro Takahashi/ Chikayoshi Sekine

[ Fiscal 1937]

  • Shohei Tanaka
  • Masaaki Inuma/ Kenji Tsukagoshi

[ Fiscal 1936]

  • Tomitaro Makino
  • Kinjiro Okabe
  • Shigeyasu Tokunaga

[ Fiscal 1935]

  • Toson Shimazaki
  • Heiichi Mukiyama
  • Hisashi Kimura

[ Fiscal 1934]

  • Kotaro Tanaka
  • Takashi Takamatsu
  • Jigoro Kano

[ Fiscal 1933]

  • Toshiro Ihara
  • Taikan Yokoyama

[ Fiscal 1932]

  • Junjiro Takakusu
  • Kunishiro Mitsuya
  • Junichi Suzuki
  • Kinsaku Nakanishi

[ Fiscal 1931]

  • Shozaburo Hoshino/ Samuro Yamamoto

[ Fiscal 1930]

  • Nobutsuna Sasaki
  • Tadaoki Yamamoto
  • Ryushi Kawabata
  • Minoru Uchida

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[ Fiscal 1929]

  • Shoyo Tsubouchi
  • Toyotaro Suhara
  • Seison Maeda


Asahi Special Prize recipients

This prize honors individuals and groups that have continued to offer international or social dedication over the years, demonstrating exceptional results in fields not covered by the Asahi Prize.

Fiscal 1995 Asahi Special Sports Prize
Hanji Aoki For his dedication to the development of amateur sport activities
Fiscal 1999 Asahi Special Prize (International Contribution)
Sadako Ogata For her unwavering dedication to international services, especially for the resolution of the refugee issue

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